siobhan R

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siobhan R

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Mar302014

Tour/Activity

Paris Shuttle Departure Transfer: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Paris, France

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

Generally not worth it to arrange because you pay by the person and versus a taxi there are several reasons to avoid. The biggest reason you don't need it? You will have your bags at the pick up door and you will still wait for them to pick you up. Versus just getting a taxi which is about 40 euro into center of town by Eiffel. I called as soon as we got to baggage claim and even though it was at least 20 mins before we got down to door for pick up we still waited at least another 20 mins to get collected. (I had to call again to make sure we were where we should be. ). By the way calling was hassle FREE no issues with that. I just don't think that it was worth it at all. You can get cash from ATM in airport/ didn't notice many taxis took credit card.
That early in the morning you kinds just want to get to the hotel!
Bon voyage!

Mar282014

Tour/Activity

Disneyland Paris Ticket: 1 Day 2 Park

Paris, France

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

So easy to get there and getting tickets was simple. Got there at 10:30 thru doors in 20 mins, this is a much smaller park but laid out exactly like Orlando. Kids will love it ! Easy to do both parks on same day and finish by 6pm. Note we are a family if 3 (mom, dad, 10 year old boy). Went on all rides of choice and some twice. We didn't see parades or go to any shows.

We then ate at Hard Rock Cafe and got on 8 pm train back to Paris. Simple navigation with tired bodies.

This was a fun day!

Mar262014

Tour/Activity

Moulin Rouge Show Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Loved it! Got there at 8:30 and walked rite thru front doors! Don't line up outside if you have a voucher go straight thru . Our seats were amazing - sat next to a couple that had dinner before show and enjoyed it very much. We exchanged our bottle of champagne for lovely bottle on Sancere white wine no problem. Also got large bottle of water with no charge.

The show is fabulous. The costumes were colorful and so delicate. The dancing and songs will have you totally engaged and the singing is wonderful too. All shows in between great! Watch the slick hand of the magician!!!

They have wonderful shop to visit right afterwards. I recommend going to first show not 2nd show because it seemed as though people had to wait there while everyone got out from seats after 9pm show for them to clean up.

Getting taxi afterwards a little tricky but go across the street for taxi queues and while there it's the best place to take a photo! BEWARE of pick pockets - we didn't suffer but you can tell that they are everywhere.

Enjoy this fantastic evening out. BTW plenty of families there ...saw kids as young as 6. We didn't take 10 year old as he preferred to stay at hotel and play on iPad and he would have been bored. But you can bring kids didn't seem to be any issue with that. You will pay full price though .

Mar252014

Tour/Activity

Versailles by Bike Day Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Rick from Fat Bike Tours was our guide and the day was fabulous. No stress involved at all. Family of three (mom, dad and 10 year old boy). We originally had this scheduled on a rainy day but once we got to the tour company they happily rebooked us for another day that week) *pays to make sure you leave free days in your schedule therefore allowing you to be able to do this type of rescheduling of needed).

Getting there is easy, getting bike simple and away you go to the market to get your picnic food. *they will give you a basket for goodies. Do not miss cheese! Some of the best offerings are available. You have about 45 mins to get goodies.

Then the adventure begins and what an amazing time it was. Rick told great stories and brought it all to life for us. Plenty of kids involved in the day. Our son was thrilled to bike around with other American kids!

Picnic by the water relaxing and getting to know your fellow travelers!

Then off to see Orangee and learn more stories. Biking not strenuous at all (anyone with 2 good working legs can do it/in fact I preferred it versus walking around this mighty Castles grounds. Inside tour is on your own although you are given the headset. Versailles closes at 6 we were done by 5(after spending 2 hours inside walking around. Taking photos and getting coffee--try the Black and White coffee,! Rick will share the details.). So you bike around for like 4 hours but with lots of stops to work up appetite.

Many of us choose to go back with Rick. He provided good directions and recommendations on eating afterwards.

I would go to Versailles early in the week of you vacation as you will get really familiar with the town and would probably want to go back another day. Sadly for us it was our last day so we couldn't return...but there is always the next time.

Fat Bike Tours: use their website to see what other tours they offer. We did the Segway tour and it was fantastic!!!!!

Mar242014

Tour/Activity

Paris in One Day Sightseeing Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

I liked this tour however it wasn't as informative as I wanted for the price. We walked to the Louve and approached from below (so didn't get to see front pyramids or learn about how and why this design was put into place recently). The tour guide did an Excellent job navigating all of us around too see what was important here. About 2 hours in total inside ...a good glimpse of what treasures are to be appreciated. Then onward to take boat to Eiffel Tower. Here is where disappointment for me was: whereas we waited for at least 20 mins for boat. We didn't get any commentary about Eiffel Tower or more on the Louve. I felt like this was wasted time that could have been better used by tour guide as surely she knew schedule for boat. Then on boat no commentary on what we were passing for 15 mins. When we got off by Eiffel we were given tickets to enter elevator for lunch and told where to meet 2 1/2 hours alloted). Enough time to enjoy really special meal. Take pictures and explore). But if you wanted to learn anything about Eiffel Tower this was not offered.

Then we took boat to Notre Dam Cathedral. A little but of the history was provided...never mentioned anything about Saint Denis(which I found weird!). Once inside spent 15 mins with tour guide and she left.

You can do the walk up to the bell tower. But all availability was booked that day so we didn't get a chance.

I feel that you can go to Eiffel Tower yourself and get same price fixed lunch (21 euro per person). Then you can go to Louve and arrange a tour guide and go to Notre Dam and get headset to do yourself. I spent over $400 on this tour and didn't get my monies worth . I was concerned that we wouldn't be able to navigate and get full appreciation of the sites --but honestly we could have at least gotten the equivalent by doing it ourselves.

Mar232014

Tour/Activity

Paris Shuttle Arrival Transfer: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Paris, France

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

Horrible do not recommend this at all! Our flight was at 9:45am. They picked us up at 5 am and told us there were no other pick up times offered for morning flights. We arrived at airport from central paris at 5:30 in the morning. It took 1/2 hour to get there at that time on a Sunday morning.

We got to airport before the agents even opened the check in line!

Save yourself the expense of prearranging shuttle and just take a taxi. It's the exact same price!

Mar232014

Tour/Activity

Romantic Horse and Carriage Ride through Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

On the first day at 4pm we did this. Meeting place simple to find and locating the ONE and ONLY horse drawn carriage in Paris was simple. It was raining on and off and was very cold outside. We were like celebrities!

Very romantic and a wonderful way to start your holidays. Don't miss this treat

Jan022014

Tour/Activity

Vienna Airport Private Departure Transfer

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

No worries hassle free and a little "tour commentary" to start the holidays off. It was easy to find driver he was waiting for us sign by gate.

Our driver also helped to confirm the next days outing with Viatours and was the one to pick us up in the morning.

Jan012014

Tour/Activity

Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Kinda not sure that this trip was a good idea to do on Jan 1st. Everything was closed in the tiny villages you go thru on the way to Melk.

Melk Abbey was beautiful! And the tour guide that is assigned to you from the Abbey is very informative taking you thru the Abbey and explaining everything in detail along the way ( about 1 1/2 hours of commentary).

Going in the winter without benefit of boat trip = IMO not worth it. The scenery is what makes this journey worth while and it just was a long day driving in a bus with not a lot to see until you get off bus.
I'm positive that cruising down the Danube is much better!
Lunch was very tasty and hot in a lovey inn.

Dec282013

Tour/Activity

Christmas Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride from Salzburg

Salzburg, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Went on Dec 28th. We were worried bec the weather had been so unseasonably warm in Salzburg that we wouldn't see snow and we would wind up on a carriage ride....but NOT the case. They take you by bus (about 1 hour) to Town of Ramsu....here there's lots of snow. The journey along the way is spectacular.

My family of 3 joined another family of 4 on the carriage. (The tour person effectively organizes this for everyone to be with whomever they want to share sleigh with so don't worry). The two kids in the group sat up front with the driver and totally loved the experience. (The front group gets snow kicked up from hoofs of horses sometimes). For about 1 hr 1/2 you journey thru town taking loads of photos breathing in cold fresh air and laughing "all the way". You will see lots of locals and vacationers cross country skiing. You will also see lots of people sledding and riding horses. It's just magical. All the time you are comfortably covered up with the supplied blankets from the carriage. Do not forget: hat, gloves, scarf and camera.

Midway is the stop for a little warm up inside if you choose. Kids played in snow - making snowballs
. Snow angels and running around in general. Adults had coffees and delicious AMAZING strudel from the cabin house outside under heat lamps taking in the scenery. Stop here for 1 hour.

Alas the horses get ready again and your off for the second part of the journey.

The last stop in the returned village is where you can eat a meal (on your own). You are there about 2 hours. We enjoyed meal and then went outside with one of the sleds the hotel has to offer. Great fun...surrounded by skiers,snowboarders and other sliders.

Walk around the town and watch the ski jump contest if there is one taking place!

Retuned back to hotel about 6:30 at night. This was the very best exhilarating and most fun day the family had.

Highly recommend it do not miss this opportunity.

Dec262013

Tour/Activity

Salzburg Super Saver: Original Sound of Music and Salt Mines Day Trip

Salzburg, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Took tour on Dec 26th. Nobody dragged on this tour. We were very excited. And Natasha the tour guide for SOM was funny, informative and has a great "singing" voice too. Getting in and off the decorated bus to see lots of the locations filmed. Going to the wedding church was beautiful. With time enough to stop in local corner cafe for coffee and desert! Christmas time it was beautifully decorated everywhere.

At end of tour you are pointed in the right direction to go explore the area/steps where the kids and Maria
jumped on the steps! Go and see the fountain and try jumping backwards!

If you didn't know the words to some of the songs before you will have them In your head the remainder of the vacation after the tour!

SALT MINE TOUR was in the afternoon. Fabulous! Changing into authentic miners clothes, taking and train deep into the mine...and the slide! Wow. Great time.

Stop in village on way home for yummy dinner was the cap to a perfect day. Just exactly what we expected with a few welcomed surprises. Everyone at Viatour is terrific. Guides really love their jobs
Are well informed and excited to share their stories and You Bus driver amazing- shares his RedBull supply with you too if you want!

Making memories is what vacations us all about and our family has terrific ones From Salzburg!

Dec252013

Tour/Activity

Salzburg Airport Arrival Transfer

Salzburg, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Perfect and totally worth it. Why go outside and look for taxi. Precook and then you have nothing to worry about.

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